Posts Tagged ‘Abby’

Sometimes, it takes more than one chef to make a delicious meal, and today it seemed to take more than one blogger to write a blog post! My best-girlfriend-soulsister-favoriteshoppingcompanion-vicariousmotherofmydaughters Emilie wrote a blog post that moved me so much, EVEN before coffee, that I ended up writing my blog post in her comments!

Being the loving and responsible woman that she is, she rescued a dog from a bad situation and was musing about the decision she made to relinquish the dog to animal control.

As I stated in her comments, she absolutely did the right thing by that dog and by her family, who aren’t in a position right now to take a dog into their lives. And what follows is the thought that sprang forth organically as I commented:

But…..one day…one day….I know you will fall in love with a dog. People talk about dogs being child-replacements, but it’s not always so. There’s something a dog gives you that no other human being can give you, not even a child. It’s a special love that I think that displays another facet of the infinite love of God. It’s not replacement child love; it’s dog love. And for what it is, it’s perfect.

So, yes, you did the right thing with Lucky. But one day, if -you’re- lucky, a dog will find you when you’re a bit thin on acceptance, perhaps a bit wormy inside from the challenges of being human, running in and out and dodging the traffic hazards of modern life. And -that- dog will adopt you and say to you with its eyes, “Don’t worry, Lucky! I’ll take care of you!” “

That’s it. That’s how the dogs in my life found me, even the ones that I seemingly adopted. They take care of the human part of me. They are the love that never judges, always stays by me. They only want to be with me. Even when there’s nothing they can do to ease the hurts of my life, they somehow do . They ask for so little and so much. All they want is me.

True, sometimes they need food, walks, baths, and combing. But who really benefits from fulfilling their needs? Certainly, the dog benefits in the short-term, but the long-term benefit is mine. By allowing me to stop worrying for a moment and care for them in the most basic, tactile ways, they smooth the callouses that form too often on my human soul.

And as I stated in an earlier post, I know they are not children. They can never fulfill the role that children play in a parent’s life.

But I don’t think that sells them short, because I’m pretty sure that children can not fill the role that a dog plays in my life, either.

I know that, even if I’d been blessed with children, I’d still have a house full of dog hair, and even after kissing my children goodnight, I’d still crave that tender, loving, accepting, and soul-nourishing kiss from my dog.

Dogs are dogs. And that is a God-blessed existence unique to dogs.

[On a side-note, Georgia State University featured a story this week about dogs in education. It’s an interesting read, and futher underscores the importance dogs play in the human existence.]

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You can teach an old toy new tricks



AbbyLast night I concocted more fun than I thought was possible while wearing pajamas (yes, plaid flannel) on a Monday night. See that little hooligan of mine to the left? That’s Abby, my sweet little mixed up girl. I say she’s mixed up, because she’s made from the spare parts of other dogs. We can’t figure out her breeds. Certainly part Golden Retriever, and part Chow, but maybe part pitbull, and sometimes she looks like a collie. She’s just mixed up, but all Abby. She came to live with me during my sick leave last year, and we bonded over recovering from surgery and watching tv together.

And let me tell you, I love this dog.

She’s so smart, and funny, but more than any other dog I’ve ever had, Abby loves to play. Her favorite things in life are wrestling, chasing cats (bad dog!) , fetching, wrestling, cookies, sleeping, wrestling, chasing peacocks (good dog!), fetching, and wrestling. Oh yeah, and she likes wrestling, too.


Last night, I completely rocked her world, and in exchange she rocked mine back. I found an old toy of hers, perhaps one of the first toys she had when she came to live with us, called Green Dinosaur. [Go ahead, just guess why we call it that…] One thing you have to understand about Abby is that she was very neglected when we found her. Well, that’s not true, exactly….she was very neglected when my mom, um, liberated her. She had no idea that dog food was food and just couldn’t believe the miracle of fresh water in a bowl all the time. She ate frogs and licked the dew off the grass for water.


And she’d never had a toy of her own as far as we could tell from her behavior. She loves toys. She just exudes joy when she gets a new toy, and she likes to round them all up and roll around on them a bunch at a time. I’m telling you, this dog thinks she’s living in heaven.


But even so, some of her favorite toys, like Green Dinosaur, have started to lose their appeal. She’ll take them out and run up and down the hallway with them, but in a few minutes she’ll change them out for Squeaky Shark, Squeaky Squirl, and Squeaky Elephant. Are you seeing a theme here? See, if Green Dinosaur squeaked, he would have been named Squeaky Dinosaur….but no.


Last night, I turned her puppy world upside down. I rounded up all her non-squeaky toys. Boy, was she ever curious!


Hey, Mom, those are my toys…Mom… mom! bring those back!…Wait a minute, what do you need four toys for, Mom! Come on, at least share with me….here, I’ll give you this tennis ball for just one of those toys….


I put Abby in a “sit-stay” and lined the toys up on the floor in front her. She was quivering.


Then I said “Okay! Get it!” She ran straight for Green Dinosaur, and that’s how I let her pick her favorite.


Time for a little Dino-surgery. I opened up a seam on the toy’s back, and silently slipped in……a squeaker.


Abby was watching my every move.


Hey mom, what are you doing with my………aaarrgh! You’ve cut his back wide open! What did you do that for! Gimme, gimme, GIMME!


After I sewed Green Dinosaur up, I handed him back to her, and she grabbed him so hard that, yep, he squeaked.


She was so shocked that her ears went straight up, her brow wrinkled, and she dropped him. Then she picked him up again. Squeak! …. squeak! squeaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueaksqueak!


Oh my gosh, that silly dog played with that toy for hours, running up and down the hallway, showing it off to Tony, showing it off to the cats, as if to say, “Hey have you heard the news? Green Dinosaur squeaks! He squeaks! And you can’t have him, oh no you can’t!” We played and played and played until we were both exhausted. And her joy and happiness spilled over and filled the whole house.


Okay, I guess this is a pretty mundane post. No earth-shattering events here or deep, philosophical musings. Just pure unadulterated puppy love and joy. For those hours, I forgot all the “important” things I had to do, and I just played.

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No, it’s not a euphemism for something your mom told you not to do before marriage.


It’s what you sometimes get to do when you live in the country. Tonight, at about 11pm, Tony and I were walking Abby for the last time before going to bed, as we always do. Abby was sniffing at things and enjoying the night air, nosing around in the pinestraw lining the driveway and looking for frogs, when suddenly she jumped straight up and back, growling and barking. When I shined my light over in that direction to see what had startled her, there was a snake, about 24 inches long and coiled up to strike. We weren’t sure whether Abby had been bitten or not, so we thought it safest if we went ahead and killed the snake in case we needed to identify it for the emergency vet.

So Tony took off up the hill for the hoe, and I stood there, in the dark, with a squirmy dog in one hand and a squirmy snake in the beam of my flashlight. Creepy. Very creepy. The wind was blowing, water droplets were being shaken from the pine trees overhead, and I stood there staring at a snake. Or…two! Sure enough, another snake, about the same size, sidled up and started getting “romantic” with the first. It was just like a Wild Kingdom episode, right there in our pine island.

Okay, maybe it was more like Wild Kingdom Meets Halloween, as Tony approached with a garden implement and proceded to hack both snakes into oblivion. My hero!

Being a peaceful person, I felt kind of guilty about being a party to their death, but upon closer inspection (yeah, I don’t like to get close to live snakes, only dead ones) they were positively identified as copperheads.

So much for getting to bed at 11. Here it is, 12:53 pm, and I’m still awake, waiting for the adreneline surge to abate so I can go to bed. But I’m happy to report that Abby wasn’t bitten, and in the end, that was most important to me.

P.S. We put the snakes in a tupperwear container. I can’t WAIT to show my mom and hear her shriek! Sometimes, my inner ten-year-old is hard to suppress.

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